Project: Germany

Categories: Germany Project | Pre-1700 Projects

Deutsche Version

Welcome to the Germany Project
Herzlich willkommen!
German Flag

Welcome to the Germany Project! This project is intended to facilitate collaboration on German genealogy for those who have German heritage, live in Germany, or have a special interest in German history.


What Geographical Area is Included in the Germany Project?

The Germany Project covers profiles of many German-speaking people. Today's Germany is known as the Federal Republic of Germany, but that state structure has only existed since the mid-1940s. Prior to that it was a collection of kingdoms, duchies, and provinces whose borders were in a state of flux for over 150 years. What is today's Germany was a major part of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) which was in place for almost 1,000 years (962-1806). The HRE included three kingdoms: Germany, Italy and Burgundy. Prior to the HRE, "Germany" was a part of the Kingdom of the East Franks, the Frankish Kingdom/Empire, and ancient Germania.

The Germany Project's focus is on the 16 modern regions and their predecessors. SEE OUR REGION INFO PAGES LINKED HERE. The Project also includes the historic regions of Alsace-Lorraine and the former eastern parts including Pomerania, Silesia, etc. (see our Prussia Team) as well as what was in the Kingdom of the Germans within the Holy Roman Empire. There will never be a strict separation of these regions: there will always be a fluid border as to what belongs to "Germany" and what does not.

The project covers migrational and special interest areas as well (see our Teams page for more information in Germans of Russia, etc.).

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Germany Project is to become a knowledge hub for German genealogical research. We can achieve this by working on profiles of all those born in what we now know as Germany (and its predecessors), to increase the number of German profiles on WikiTree, and ensure they meet the highest standards possible.

It is our goal to do the following:

  • Provide a forum that facilitates friendly collaboration on genealogy and German history among its members, using G2G, Google Groups and Discord for different types of communication.
  • Increase German membership on WikiTree and collaborate effectively and multi-lingually. We want to ensure all project content is offered in both German and English translations. We have already translated every WikiTree Help page into German. Check out the progress we've made so far.
  • Collectively improve ALL German profiles on WikiTree to make them the best they can be. We aim to have every German profile properly sourced, free of database errors and connected to our main tree. We need a lot of help to do this!
  • Ensure that German profiles on WikiTree include:
    1. accurate genealogical information;
    2. primary sources or sources considered to be reliable by the project (not simply relying on unsourced online trees);
    3. accurate location names for the time period appropriate for the profile;
    4. appropriate German naming conventions; and
    5. comprehensive biographies covering all the genealogical facts for the subject of the profile.
  • Provide resources to help WikiTree members research their German genealogy. We are constantly updating and adding resources as we find them. We encourage our members to share their discoveries and, in turn, we will post links to those resources on our project pages. We have compiled an extensive list of online resources and research tools that people can use to find information on their German families. Our main project resource page is HERE, and there are many other resources attached to our Team pages and below.
  • Eventually, when we have enough bi-lingual volunteers, we want to add a German research "trail" to teach new members how to research using German records.

Who Should Join and Why?

The Germany Project is for people who already know the basics of how to use German records to research genealogy. We'd like WikiTree to be the place where German genealogists go to add their family trees, share new information and collaborate with each other. We need active, knowledgeable members to help us make WikiTree's German profiles the most accurate of any internet genealogy site and to achieve the goals stated above.
How can we accomplish our goals? We would appreciate any and all help, by members and non-members, to work on improving German profiles. Profiles for "ordinary" Germans are very difficult to research. See a good example of what we're looking for here: Ramsperger-23.
If you simply want help finding information on your German ancestors, the best place to ask questions and get guidance is in G2G (remember to add the tag GERMANY and/or GERMAN_ROOTS). If you're comfortable answering these kinds of questions, we would love to have you join the project!
Please feel free to use our main Research Resource Page and other resources, listed below and on our Team pages regardless of membership.
Also, you do not need to be a project member to celebrate your German heritage: simply add the {{German Roots Sticker}} to your profile.

How to Join

Prerequisites to Join

Membership is open to WikiTree members who have an interest in actively participating in a collaborative setting to improve German profiles on WikiTree. To join the project, new members must:
  1. sign WikiTree's Honor Code. If you're new to WikiTree and have not become a full member, you will need to upgrade to Wiki Genealogist Level and sign our Honor Code to receive your wiki genealogist badge, which is a necessity for editing profiles.
  2. be familiar with editing profiles on WikiTree and know how to properly add sources to a profile.
  3. have made at least 100 contributions to our shared tree, including adding or editing German profiles.
  4. be willing to improve German profiles by joining one of our Teams.
If you've done the above and are interested in joining the project, ANSWER OUR JOIN POST HERE. Please make sure you are willing to do the work before asking for the badge.

After Requesting to Join

Interested members will receive an email from a project leader after answering our join post. You will need to respond to the email and do the following:
a. Add the G2G tags GERMANY or GERMAN_ROOTS to your list of followed tags by clicking this link: Special:Following. When you're following a tag you're alerted to new activity through your daily "Wiki Genealogist Feed" e-mail updates. The daily updates include WikiTree activity in followed surnames, tagged G2G discussions, and new members who added the tag. See Help: Tags for more info on using G2G tags. **NOTE: If you follow the tag GERMANY, occasionally your daily "Wiki Genealogist Feed" will include activity on profiles with the last name "Germany", but this is fairly rare. You can choose to ignore it or you can only follow the tag GERMAN_ROOTS instead.**
b. Join our Google Group. This is the place where our project members communicate and project news is posted. When you respond to our initial email, we will send you an invitation to join the Google Group. You will simply need to click on the link in the blue box that says "Accept this Invitation" to join.
c. OPTIONAL: Request to join one of our FUNCTIONAL teams: see the full list HERE. To join a team, send a trusted list request to the team page you'd like to join OR post a profile comment on the team's page and say you'd like to join. Our teams are the best places to collaborate! So we can improve as many German profiles as possible, ultimately, we'd love to see all our project members join one of our Profile Improvement Teams.

After Receiving the Badge

Once you've done the above, you will be awarded a Germany Project member badge.


Badged members can join the Germany Project channel on WikiTree's Discord server. Participation on Discord will always be OPTIONAL. Discord is not used to communicate any project news to the group, but it is a great way to collaborate on German genealogy in real time. Click this LINK to join WikiTree's Discord server.

Make Yourself Visible (Optional)

  • Tell us about yourself! Are you German? Do you speak German? Add your name and research interests to the list of members' interests HERE.
  • Add your location to the Germany Project Members map HERE. See this post for instructions: 6/13/21 Google Group Post.

Add Familienbücher (Optional, also for non Members)

Do you own a German Family Book (Familienbuch) in which you'd be willing to do look-ups? Add your name and the name of the book(s) you have to the list here: Familienbücher: German Family Books. NOTE: This list includes books that are NOT already available online.

How to Remain a Member

There are only two requirements to remain a Germany Project member:
1. Improve at least two German profiles every year. You can choose to improve project-managed profiles, family members, or anyone who was born in or died in Germany.
2. Respond to annual member check-Ins: Members are required to respond to annual check-ins with project leadership. These will occur in April/May each year. At check-ins, we will post a profile comment (and you will receive an email) asking if you're still interested in being a project member. You can post a reply to the profile comment (must be 30 characters) or respond via private email. Your answer can be as simple as: "Yes - I'd like to stay with the project" or "No - remove me from the Germany Project". Or you can send us your detailed interests and/or suggestions on how to improve the project. Respond with as much information as you want to share - we love hearing from our members!
NOTE: Because this project has a very large membership roster, we need your response to keep our records up-to-date. NOTE: If you have been inactive on WikiTree for 6 months, your badge will be automatically removed. If we don't get your response at check-in time and you're removed as a project member, please don't be offended ... you're welcome to rejoin at any time.

How to Contribute

Improve German Profiles

Sven, Alexandra and Flo talking about
Names, Location and Categories for
German Profiles on WikiTree Day 2023
Play the Sven, Alexandra and Flo talking about Names, Location and Categories for German Profiles on WikiTree Day 2023.

  1. Add sourced profiles for your German family, checking for existing profiles to avoid duplicates. If any duplicate profiles exist, request a merge, merging into the lowest numbered profile.
  2. Add sources to any unsourced profiles, searching out original rather than derivative documentation.
  3. Connect your profiles to WikiTree's shared global family tree.
  4. Check for suggestions and fix database errors on the profiles you work on.
  5. Create and/or expand biographies, adding inline citations directly after the facts sourced and using the WikiTree Style Guide. Ensure that profiles for family members are attached and properly sourced.
  6. If profiles were loaded by GEDCOM, use WikiTree Styles and Standards to clean up residue and broken links.
  7. Add a German Roots sticker to German profiles. Copy and paste this coding: {{German Roots Sticker}} and add it directly below the profile's Biography heading.
  8. Add any relevant categories to the profile.
  9. Contact one of the project leaders to request PPP status for those profiles that meet the criteria for project protection. This will protect the profiles from incorrect merges or changes to relationships.
  10. Collaborate in G2G, in our Google Group and with our Teams (listed below) and add new resources to assist the WikiTree community in finding German records.
  11. Work with the Cemeterist Project to ensure individual cemeteries in Germany are categorized and records added to WikiTree.
  12. Pick any profile from Category: Germany, Maintenance Categories and fix why it ended up there in the first place.

Improve Project Pages/Infrastructure

Please contact a project leader if you're interested in helping with any of the following:
  • Change Donauschwaben from subproject to a team
  • Update and expand German Genealogy Research: Beginners Guide and consider developing a Germany orphan trail team - does anyone want to volunteer to lead this?? If you'd like to help develop this page, ask a project leader for trusted list access.
  • Develop category guidelines and overhaul existing categories, including expanding categories for Germans of Russia, Volga Germans and Black Sea Germans. NOTE: Black Sea Germans cats are underway by Carrie at Sep 2021.
  • Merge Space:Genealogy_Glossary and Space:Translation_Table
  • Finish editing German History page, adding links to Dieter's location history pages.
  • DONE - Add born in "switch" to German Roots sticker
  • IN PROGRESS - Develop pages for German place name history (in development by Dieter Lewerenz 2021)
  • Follow-up on Germany Project Ideas Proposal Page
  • Add an AUSTRIA team, subproject or new project?? An Austria FSP was added to the Global Project 7/1/2021.

Project Leadership

Contact people for the project:

  • Dieter Lewerenz: Project Leader. Translation team, location and naming histories, G2G liaison
  • Florian Straub: PC - Project Research/Resources. Main resource page, social media outreach, Discord, tech challenges, membership.
  • Jelena Eckstädt: PC - Profile Improvement Teams. Monthly challenge leader, project's categorization contact, membership, managed profiles
  • Danny Gutknecht G2G liaison, translation on G2G, oversight of research/resources, membership
  • Helmut Jungschaffer: PC - Medieval Germany, German history
  • Steve Thomas: PC - Prussia Team
  • Steven Greenwood: Team Leader: Categorization

Project Resources

This is an active Germany Project page with up-to-date information.
Last updated by Traci Thiessen: 11 Jan 2023
Translated by: name/date

This page was last modified 17:28, 26 January 2024. This page has been accessed 44,162 times.